Groups opposing seabed mining said today they will be “vigorously opposing” a Supreme Court appeal by seabed miners.

The Supreme Court today granted Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) leave to appeal a 3 April Court of Appeal judgment that upheld a High Court decision which had quashed the company’s consent to dig up 50 million tonnes of the South Taranaki Bight seabed every year for 35 years. 

It granted leave to appeal, the approved question being whether the Court of Appeal was correct to dismiss the appeal. It has invited the Attorney General to intervene on the Te Tiriti o Waitangi issues. 

“We will fight this every step of the way, and that includes defending the very strong decision of the Court of Appeal,” said Cindy Baxter, chairperson of Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, a community group that has successfully opposed every application for seabed mining so far made in Aotearoa.    

“This is an extremely important case for this country, will set a precedent for this extremely damaging and experimental industry, and we will be doing our best to defend ocean protection on behalf of the many coastal communities we represent.” 

Jessica Desmond, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, agrees that New Zealanders will not give up the fight to protect the oceans from seabed mining.

“We are disappointed that iwi, community and environmental groups will have to continue litigating this,” she says.

“This international mining company is unwelcome on the shores of New Zealand, and thousands of us have shown that by resisting this mine for years. But we’re not going to give up now.

“Alongside our allies, we will continue to resist this destructive industry from damaging the precious South Taranaki Bight, and all the wildlife that finds a home there.

“They might have deep pockets, but we’ve got people power, and together we will continue working to protect the blue whales, Māui dolphins and countless other species that would be impacted by their plunder.”

See legal analysis of the Court of Appeal decision. 

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